PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND – The Brown women's basketball team (9-17, 3-9 Ivy League) dropped a heartbreaker this evening at the Pizzitola Sports Center, falling to the Columbia Lions (4-21, 2-9 Ivy League) by a score of 58-55.
Senior tri-captain Sheila Dixon (Schenectady, NY) and junior Lauren Clarke (Colts Neck, NJ) combined for 36 of the Bears' points, scoring 20 and 16 respectively, and sophomore Sophie Bikofsky (Newton, MA) contributed eight to the team total. Dixon also added three rebounds and a game-high five assists, while Clarke had five rebounds and was 4-for-4 from long range. Junior Sophie Beutel (Toronto, Ontario) pulled down a game-high nine rebounds.
Forward Tyler Simposon lit up the floor for Columbia, scoring a game-high 26 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the field and 8-of-10 from the free throw line.
Dixon opened up scoring in the first half, nailing a jumper just seconds into the game, but both teams struggled to take a commanding lead, battling back and forth throughout the first 20 minutes of action. The Lions went on a seven-point run to earn a six point advantage, their biggest of the half, with 12:32 left, but three-pointers from Clarke and Dixon brought the Bears right back.
Columbia built up another lead heading into halftime, but the dynamic duo of Clarke and Dixon chipped in four points on lay-ups to give Brown a 31-27 edge as the teams went into the locker room.
The Bears shot 37.9 percent from the field in the first half, while the Lions hit 36.8 percent. The home team nailed 5-of-10 from long range, while the visitors sank just 1-of-6.
Columbia hit two jumpers to tie the score, 31-31, less than two minutes into the second half, but Dixon hit a jump shot to pull Brown ahead and the team kept the momentum rolling, going on an 11-2 run to take a nine point lead with 13:49 left to play.
The Bears would hold onto their lead for the next seven minutes, but a three-pointer by Columbia's Caitlyn Unsworth brought the visitors within one, and Simpson nailed two free throws to put the Lions back on top with 4:24 on the clock.
As time wound down the Bears did everything they could to regain control, coming within two with :22 seconds on the clock, but the Lions stayed just out of reach. Freshman Ellise Sharpe (Tipp City, OH) took a three-point shot at the buzzer but it hit the rim and bounced out, allowing Columbia to hold on for the 58-55 win.
Brown shot 37.9 percent for the entirety of the game, while Columbia stepped up its effort in the second, shooting 55.6 percent for a game total of 45.9 percent. The Bears were 42.9 percent from long range, but free throw shooting proved to be the clincher for the Lions, as the team was 84 percent from the line.
The Bears will hit the road for their final two games of the 2012-2013 season, playing at Penn on Friday, March 8 at 7:00pm before heading to Princeton on Saturday, March 9 to play at 6:00pm.